A viscous, golden liquid created by refining cannabis resin. Distillation allows the processor to isolate a desired compound from the cannabis plant and leave behind undesirable plant material. Distillates are commonly used in vape cartridges and can also be used in edibles, topicals, and other products. Distillates also tend to be potent because they isolate a specific compound. 

“My distillate cartridge is 97% THC.”

“I use distillate when I make infused brownies.”

What is distillate?

The process of distillation allows an extractor to isolate a specific compound of the cannabis plant by heating and condensing a liquid extract. Distillates are essentially isolates of a compound, such as THC, which are close to 100% pure. 

Distillate is most commonly used in vape cartridges and edibles, but it can also be used in specialty products like moon rocks, infused joints, or cannagars as an adhesive or sealant, or as a way to increase potency. 

Pros and cons of distillate

Distillates are a simple and inexpensive extraction process that can get a high concentration of a cannabis compound without using solvents. They have a very light taste and aroma, making them great for edibles and vape pens.

Some consumers may view distillate as a negative because it isolates one compound; according to the entourage effect, the combination of all the compounds in the cannabis plant can lead to more health benefits. It is common for extractors to add terpenes back into distillate after the distillation process.

Distillate often has a thinning agent added to it. THC, for example, is not liquid at room temperature, it’s crystalline, so an agent needs to be added to make it more viscous. Vegetable glycerine, propylene glycol, and MTC oil are common thinners used in vape cartridges.